Appliqué the Sew Quirky Way: Fresh designs for quick and easy appliqué

Textile Art Book Reviews


At Mr X Stitch we love to review textile art and embroidery books for you. There are so many great books to discover, packed with needlework inspiration and textile techniques, so we dive into each book to find out what’s good, what’s bad and let you know why you should pick it up.

Appliqué the Sew Quirky Way: Fresh designs for quick and easy appliqué, written by Mandy Murray. It is a fun, quirky book with lots of colourful pages exploring the topic of appliqué in an easy to follow way. Learn how to do quick and easy appliqué to create lovely embellishments, quilts and bags along with other projects.

About The Author

Mandy Murray is a designer and artist, owning the brand Sew Quirky. She uses machine embroidery and appliqué to create wonderful colourful pieces of art. Currently she spends her time teaching and updating her website, which not only advertises her work but acts as a shop too, where you can buy the tools required to carry out the projects she teaches, including those in her book.

Who Is This Book Aimed At?

With its bright and cheerful edge, this one makes appliqué suitable for all. It is great for beginners and those wishing to refresh their skills.


The contents list

Each project (there are twelve) has a specific name, often a pun – i.e. Alpaca my bag….etc.

Applique Mandy Murray contents
This is the contents list, outlining what we will discover within each section.

The introduction

The author herself tells us: ‘As you flip through the colourful pages of this book, my hope is that the quirky designs stop you in your tracks and cause your face to light up with a huge smile. I hope your mind starts to tick with all the creative possibilities. Imagine all the projects you could make for yourself or those you love, and know that you are treating yourself to sewing just for fun, for you!’

Applique Mandy Murray intro
The introduction section, the author has set out to inspire us and explain her love of appliqué.

We learn in the introduction, that the projects are just really a starting point, she hopes that we will use the inspiration to build our own projects. Maybe we can use colours we like more than the ones she uses herself in the step-by-step projects.

The tools

Applique Mandy Murray tools
Tools are shown in the images.

She visually shows us which tools are required, rather than simply leaving us with a written list, which will help those who are beginners or not as confident.

A colourful book

Colour is a massive part of this book and its attraction.

Applique Mandy Murray projects
Cute and colourful designs are taught throughout.

The book is definitely aimed at those who love the colour, you will not find a page without it!

Cool fonts

You can mix and match Mandy’s fused raw edge appliqué designs and project instructions to make your own combinations or use any of the appliqué designs to embellish ready-made clothes and accessories, which makes it even more fun to do.

Mandy Murray text
The text is quite a unique font, making it interesting to look at.

Step-by-step projects

Applique Mandy Murray steps
Projects are photographed in developing stages.

The book also documents all the sorts of decorative stitches and instructions on how to accomplish them. Again this will help the beginner and those a little rusty.


The images are brilliant throughout, here is an example:

Applique Mandy Murray photos
Lovely colourful photos throughout, many showing the finer details to copy.

Another great aspect of the book is that there are full-size appliqué patterns included on a pull-out pattern sheet so you don’t need to print them out and stick pages together, and all the appliqué templates are included at full-size so you can get going straight away once you’ve decided which design to tackle first…it is your choice!

There are lovely images to showcase the types of decorative materials you can use……

Applique Mandy Murray
What will you use to decorate your project?

What Makes The Book Special?

We loved the unusual materials used within some of the projects, such as cork. Randomly you can actually buy the cork on her website!

Applique Mandy Murray cork
Thinking outside the usual materials used for embroidery, why not try cork?

Have you every heard of cork fabric? No, we had not either! Buy hey, we will certainly give it a go!

Applique Mandy Murray mix
Mixed images from the book.

Anything Wrong With The Book?

This is a cool fun book, which enthusiastically teaches appliqué as a technique. If you want something more traditional, this isn’t for you.


We think this book will bring you joy and at least a smile! So make sure you at least buy a copy to have in for a colour hit and to show someone even younger who may enjoy learning with you!

Mandy Murray also has a great Instagram account so do check it out, as well as a great website.

Applique the Sew Quirky Way: Fresh designs for quick and easy applique is available to purchase here.